Way back in the day of the Attitude Era and the Ruthless Aggression Era, young superstars such as Batista, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, etc. were being shaped to lead a new era in the WWE. Some did it through stables, some did it through catchy gimmicks, some did it by just plain working their tails off day in and day out hoping that someday they could become an all time great.
Batista and Randy Orton got their major push through Evolution. John Cena became a major crowd favorite through his catchy rapping gimmick. Chris Jericho is a guy that wasn't a 6-5 300 pound freak of nature, and therefore he had to take the hard way to the top, actual hard work.
Nowadays, the lost art of pushing a superstar over a long period of time has seemingly been lost. In today's PG era, the WWE seems to know only one way to push a young star, and that's through Money In The Bank. And if it isn't through Money In The Bank, it's through a 4-month process that turns out awkward. (*cough* Sheamus *cough*)
Jack Swagger got his major push through Money In The Bank. But it turned into a pathetic three month-reign. Now where is he? Appearing once every other week on Smackdown for some mid-card squash match.
What about The Miz? He is Money In The Bank as well. He won it at the MITB Pay-Per-View, then cashed it in on Randy Orton. And now all things are pointing to him losing this Sunday at the Royal Rumble PPV. Then what's going to happen to him? He's going to get a rematch, no doubt about that. But he's probably going to lose and end up lost.
It's a recipe for disaster. Heck, even Mr. Kennedy had his push through the WrestleMania 23 PPV when he won the MITB. And now look at him, or don't, because he hardly ever appears on television anymore.
I think of the MITB as a drug. A chemical high, you start really low, and you want to get to the top really quickly, so you win the MITB. But that's as high as you're going to get, no pun intended. Because you can go nowhere but down from there.
Enter Dolph Ziggler. Dolph Ziggler is a special case. He hasn't won any MITB's. Sure he's cheated along the way, but he's a heel, all heels do.
Dolph Ziggler has been a slow process that started years ago. He has slowly, and I repeat, VERY slowly, gone from scrawny Spirit Squad member, to "Hi, I'm Dolph Ziggler" to Vickie Guerrero's boyfriend, and now to number one contender for the World Heavyweight Champion.
So instead of a three month push that the MITB will do to you. Dolph Ziggler has undergone a three year push, and unlike the MITB type push, Ziggler is here to stay.
It is OK to use the MITB to give somebody a final push, like CM Punk. He just needed that little extra "jolt" to get him into the main event scene. But it is NOT ok, for somebody that goes from nothing to something in one night.
Dolph Ziggler's push is a natural high. He has naturally reached the main event scene. It isn't all of a sudden. It was a NATURAL process.
Since he has naturally reached the main event scene, he is here to stay. Unless the WWE screws up, which they have a natural habit of doing, then after this year, they just might have developed a brand new mega-star for years to come. Oh yes, the road to Perfection, no pun intended, will be a rocky one, filled with potholes, but if the WWE can pull this one off right, we will really have witnessed something special.
He went from nothing to something in a span of four or five years. He really earned it. And as the IWC, we can't help but appreciate a guy like that.